5 Things Every Good Dog Park Needs

dog crawls through tunnel at dog park

One thing is for certain, as a society, we love our dogs. Around 69 million households in the country own at least one dog, and the canine just happens to be the most popular pet in America. The uptick in dog ownership paired with the rise of urban landscapes means that dog parks have grown to be a necessary thing. If you are in the process of planning a dog park, picking the best dog park equipment will be the first thing on your agenda. Take a look at the things every good dog park needs.

History of Dog Parks

Dog parks initially started out around the 1960s and 1970s, according to Smithsonian Magazine. Expanding urban areas meant access to open areas for dogs to run and play was becoming less common to find. People began to scout out empty lots in certain areas where they could take their pets to run and play. And, so, the idea of the dog park was born.

These days, dog parks can be spotted in all kinds of locales. Dog parks are a common municipal add-on for residents and often get added to properties that house apartment complexes. Some dog parks are implemented purely for pet-recreation purposes.

Canine Agility Equipment

Canine agility equipment is a type of dog park equipment that encourages a dog to take part in some type of challenging activity. Agility challenges are common components in dog competitions. However, these activities are just as valuable even if there are no plans for entering a canine competition.

Agility activities encourage the dog to get physically active but also use their natural skills to make it through obstacles and challenges. Certain high-activity breeds like Shepherds and Beagles thoroughly enjoy having a job to do, so this type of dog park equipment will be highly appreciated. Nevertheless, these equipment pieces can also be valuable for dogs that need a little more encouragement to get active.

Agility equipment comes in a lot of different forms. A dog tunnel is a popular and simple choice—these tunnels require the dog to pass through a tunnel to get through to the opening at the end. A few other types of agility equipment include:

Hydration Stations for Dogs and Humans

When dogs and their human owners visit a dog park, physical exertion is to be expected. Therefore, it is extremely important to make sure both have access to adequate hydration. Generally speaking, dogs need about an ounce of water per pound of their body weight on a daily basis. Therefore, a 10-pound dog will likely drink 10 ounces of water daily, but heightened activity levels will mean higher levels of water intake. Simple watering bowls will deplete quickly, so other solutions are a better fit.

Hydration stations give the dogs and their owners a place to get a cool drink of water while they are visiting the dog park. A dog water fountain should be placed in an easily accessible area, and larger parks may need several of these fountains. You can even get dual fountains that offer a place for both humans and dogs to grab a drink together.

Canine Socializing Areas

Many dogs love to socialize with other dogs, which is one reason why dog parks are such attractive places for canines. Even dogs that don't use the agility equipment in the park will likely enjoy the social areas. These areas can be simple, such as a large fenced area to run and play. However, you can also make these spots even more alluring to the dogs with a few pieces of dog park equipment.

For example, something as simple as a dog fire hydrant is no doubt going to be a major attraction for the four-legged visitors. These hydrants are bright red, urine resistant, and can even be purchased with a misting feature. A dog fire hydrant with a misting feature sprays a cool mist of water which is a big hit for pups that enjoy water or want to cool off.

Dog Waste Stations

All dog parks need to be kept clean and sanitary. Dog waste can take as long as a year to decompose naturally. If you have a lot of dogs in one area, the waste can accumulate quickly. Further, dog waste can heighten the risks of transmitting parasites or illnesses between animals. Therefore, collecting waste to keep the park free from droppings and potential bacteria is a must.

While it is ever-important to encourage pet owners with signs that request they handle their dog's waste, making the process easy ensures the request is followed. Dog waste stations are a valuable piece of dog park equipment for this very purpose. The stations can offer a sign requesting that owners pick up after their dogs. However, these stations can also be outfitted with waste bags and a convenient place to dispose of the waste, as well as hand sanitizer for owners and optional leash holders.

When picking dog waste stations, consider the size of the park and how many owners are likely to be using the station. It is a good idea to make sure there is a waste station clearly visible from just about every point in the park.

Other Dog Park Equipment Add-Ons to Consider

Beyond the general dog park equipment, a dog park can be outfitted with so many extras that make the area more enjoyable for both pets and their owners. After all, the more enjoyable the park is to visit, the more pet owners will want to visit the park and bring their playful companions along for some fun. Below are a few other add-ons to consider.

A Place to Rest

The dog owners that visit the park will appreciate having a nice place to take a seat while their dog plays or even while taking a break from actively playing. Pick a few areas in the shade or out of the way and set up some good outdoor benches or picnic tables.

Wash Stations

Time spent at the dog park can mean a messy canine when all is said and done. Wash stations are designed to give pet owners a convenient spot to give their dogs a quick wash before they leave the park. Wash stations can be simple raised platforms with walk-in tubs that are great for outdoor use. The best wash stations offer splash guards and safety features to keep the dog in place and the owner from getting wet.

Just for Wags

A few little extras can really make a dog park an enjoyable, memorable place to be. For example, adding something like a simple photo booth panel gives pet owners a neat way to capture adorable pictures on their dog's day out. Or, adding a few animal-shaped dog park fence hangers on the surrounding fencing can give the area a truly “wag-worthy” appearance.

Outfit Canine-Friendly Areas with the Best Dog Park Equipment

Dog parks have truly evolved over the years. What was once considered a basic place to take a dog for a walk has grown to be a full-on spot for dog and owner entertainment and leisure. If you are in the process of outfitting a dog park, be sure to take a look at our collection of dog park equipment at BarkPark. We can help you make your dog park a true community destination. Have questions? We're all ears! Contact us today with any questions you have about our dog park equipment.